Chances are, it’s your first divorce and you don’t know the first thing about how to get started. But there’s no time to drag your feet… your soon-to-be ex has probably already found a decent divorce lawyer.
Important: For those of you who have already been served divorce papers, call me today: if we don’t create and file a legal response within 30 days, there’s a good chance you could lose your claim on everything.
Think about this question:
If you have to appear in court, are you going to be able to protect yourself, your children, and your belongings?
I want to meet you in my office and help you answer this question with a confident YES.
Still not sure if you’re ready for a consultation? Do yourself a favor and come to terms with the following divorce facts:
When my clients sit down with me to discuss their case, I know they find comfort in my long history of handling divorces in Gallatin. From my experience, I know it’s true that all cases are different… maybe you’re still on very good terms with your spouse, or maybe you two have become sworn enemies. Either way, I know what steps you need to take today.
Trust me, I’ve said it many times: no one knows you better than your spouse…what you like and dislike, what you own, where you keep everything, and particularly what buttons to push to drive you crazy. I’ve worked with all kinds of people right here in Gallatin and I know what it takes to succeed in each situation. I’ve got the track record to prove it. The dozens of divorces I’ve handled have given me the necessary experience to become your trusted legal guide and mentor throughout the entire divorce process.
Please don’t put yourself (and your children) in the hands of an inexperienced divorce lawyer. I’ve seen what can happen, and it isn’t pretty.
Tons of lawyers in middle Tennessee have faraway offices and can almost never be reached by phone. My office is right on the square in Gallatin and I pride myself on returning phone calls and emails as soon as I can.
Because I know that divorce is stressful for everyone involved, I make sure my paralegal Angela and I are available to you when you need us. If you haven’t already, you’ll soon find out that people do many weird things under such stressful situations. (In other words, don’t be surprised if your spouse starts dropping off cars, taking things out of your house, going away with your children, or just generally starts driving you bonkers.) Under such stress, it is so important to be able to reach your lawyer.
When you become my client, I am going to be honest with you. And the honesty starts now: the number one complaint I hear about other lawyers is that they don’t communicate. The years have taught me that the number one way to keep clients happy is to talk to them. And in my line of work, it’s good to have happy clients. They don’t always love the message, but they usually appreciate the honesty.
How greedy and unreasonable is your spouse going to be? How aggressive is his/her lawyer?
If you think you already know the answers to these questions, think again. You’ll be surprised. Some people think their spouse is going to try to take everything, only to find out later that their demands are pretty reasonable. Others, expecting their spouse to settle peacefully and quickly, are shocked when they see just how bad things can get.
That being said, I work with you to determine how aggressively the case needs to be handled. I help you to consider many factors in deciding how far and how hard to push. Long battles can create bitterness, especially where children are involved, and they can cost thousands of dollars.
But if we decide that it’s necessary to fight, we’ll fight. My past clients will tell you that I’ll work hard for you inside the courtroom and out. Right now, I’m working on my third court appearance for one of my clients (this last one being a hearing on civil and criminal contempt). I am asking the judge to consider putting the wife in jail for disobeying his previous order. In this case, unfortunately, aggression is necessary. So when I am called upon to portray the other party in a very negative light, I can. This is, after all, an adversarial system.
So while some attorneys like to be known as always aggressive, I know that all cases are different and require different levels of aggression. When both parties are reasonable, being “too tough” does nothing but make a bad situation worse. But when one party is being unreasonable, trust me, I know how to buckle down.
I know, I know. This sounds like strange advice coming from me, a lawyer. But it’s true, and you’d be better off realizing it now. Angela and I have been in this business for a long time, and we know that offering you legal services is important… but it’s not our only responsibility.
First, on top of needing a lawyer, you’re going to need a good listener and a solid guide. I am that listener. I am that guide. If you have children, I already know that the road ahead of you is going to be a tough one. I am sympathetic toward all my clients and I make sure the judge sees that. If I said I liked every one of my clients and wanted to have them over for dinner every night, I’d be lying. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to tell their stories to the judge.
Second, you’re going to want to make sure your lawyer has an excellent support staff. In my office, that support is paralegal Angela Finley. Angela is smart and has common sense. She’s got tons of experiences, and she knows how to talk with my clients. She drafts all my documents quickly, and she keeps my calendar. By keeping me focused, she is a significant factor in how successful I am and how successful my clients are.
*retainers are given at the discretion of the attorney following a required consultation
Uncontested Divorce no/kids – Starting at $750
Uncontested Divorce WITH kids – Starting at $1000
Contested Divorce – Consultation Required. Contested divorces can be complicated based upon a variety of factors. If I were able to put a price here, I most certainly would, but I’ll need to speak with you about your specific circumstance before I can offer an approximate cost.
In order for a divorce to be finalized, the couple must reach an agreement on all of the below terms of divorce that are relevant to their marriage:
An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties are able to come to an agreement regarding the terms of divorce without the need for a trial. This type of divorce is typically quicker and less expensive since it does not involve court proceedings.
However, when both parties cannot agree on the terms of the divorce, it becomes a contested divorce and requires a trial for the divorce to be finalized.
There are several ways in which having children affects the divorce process in the state of Tennessee.
First of all, all divorces in the state of Tennessee take a minimum of 90 days when children are involved. This is because there are several requirements that divorcing parents must meet before their divorce can be final.
For instance, state law mandates that divorcing parents attend a parenting class before the divorce can be finalized.
In addition to completing this course, parents are also required to develop a permanent parenting plan, which details the couples specific plans for child care. This agreement typically includes plans for child support, a visitation schedule, the break down of parenting roles and responsibilities, and more.
A prenuptial agreement can often times make divorce proceedings less complicated. This is because a prenup typically covers many of the issues that are decided during the divorce process.
Some of these issues which are often included in prenup agreements include alimony limits, assigning responsibility for any debt, language guiding the division of property acquired while married, and which individual assets are to remain untouched in the case of divorce.
Since these issues have already been agreed to, it can greatly simplify the divorce proceedings and reduce the need for court intervention to come to a final resolution.
However, this is not always the case.
In instances where a divorcing party contests the prenuptial agreement the court must then examine the validity of the agreement which can be time-consuming and requires additional discovery and court proceedings.
To file for divorce in Tennessee one party must file a Petition for Divorce (also known as a “Complaint”) with the proper court.
This Petition should include the grounds for divorce as well as certain information regarding the marriage. The document needs to be filed in either the county where the couple resided at the time of separation, the country in which the defendant currently resides, or the county in which the petitioner resides in the case that the defendant is no longer a Tennessee resident.
Once the Petition is filed in the appropriate court a Summons will be issued by the court and both the Summons and Complaint will be served to the defendant.
Now that you know the facts, it’s time to contact me for your divorce consultation. Waiting could cost you thousands in the long run, so don’t delay.
We serve Gallatin, Hendersonville, and the rest of Sumner county. Click here to request a consultation.